The iOS Photos app’s Thumbnail grid view gives you a bunch of little squares, and that’s good if you want to pack a lot of thumbnails onto one page. But most of your pictures aren’t square, so a square thumbnail is a cropped thumbnail, so you can’t even tell if a picture is landscape or portrait, not from the thumbnail you can’t.
It’s a lot easier to tell what the thumbnails represent if you use the Aspect Ratio Grid. See below.
How to change the way thumbnails look
Get into the Thumbnail view and tap the Options button (the circle with the three dots in it), at the upper right. (On an iPad, there’s a button at upper right that says either “Square” or “Aspect”– just give it a tap and you’re done. The Options button still works though.)
You’ll get several options. The one we want is “Aspect Ratio Grid.” Tap that, and you get something like this:
Choosing “Aspect Ratio Grid” gives you this:
Note: if you don’t see “Aspect Ratio Grid” as an option, you’re either zoomed out too far (so tap “Zoom In”) or you’re already in Aspect Ratio Grid.
In Aspect Ratio Grid it’s much easier to see which pictures are which. In this screenshot we can see one image in landscape orientation as well as two movies. Also, several thumbnails that looked identical in the regular “square’ thumbnail grid are easily distinguishable in the Aspect Ratio View.
If we go back to the Options button again we can make this even better by zooming in (refer to the screenshot two pictures back).
Now that’s a thumbnail view that’s really useful. At least to me. Experiment and see what works for you!